MUSCAT, Women are protesting workplace discrimination in Oman and demanding more senior positions.

Women make up about a quarter of the total workforce in the Omani private sector, but just less than five per cent of them occupy management positions. This is despite a huge leap in their academic qualifications in the last decade.

Out of 240,063 Omani employees currently working in the private sector, 61,048 are women nationals, according to the country’s National Center for Statistical Information (NCSI).

Women say they are often overlooked for positions, with younger and less experienced men handed promotions before them.

In the last ten years, female higher education graduates have outnumbered men by 12 per cent from various subjects, according to the statistics from the Ministry of Higher Education. Yet, they still lag behind when it comes to getting the nod for prized senior management positions.

Salma Al Kaabi, despite joining her workplace with a degree in marketing management, says she is still a junior manager after more than 14 years at the same company.

I have the same qualification as the man who is heading the department I am in, Ms Kaabi, who works as assistant marketing manager for Salaam Enterprises in Muscat, said.

She says he has less experience in years, but he is my boss. Why? Because he is a man, Ms Kaabi, who works as assistant marketing manager for Salaam Enterprises in Muscat, said.

At the recent Oman Economic Forum held in Muscat in March, Omani Minister of Trade and Industry Ali Al Sunaidi urged the private sector to address the gender discrepancy and push forward the ambitions of the private sector to prepare for future business challenges.

Women can contribute a lot to senior management positions as equally well as men, and there should be no doubt about it. All we have to do is appoint them in the top positions more often than we do now and they will excel themselves, Mr Sunaidi said.

Source: Nam News Network